Den Of Thieves Director Talks Modern Film Classics And Possible Sequel

Den of Thieves is a modern-day heist drama that harkens back to the late 70s, early 80s. To me, this is the defacto golden age of action filmmaking with such headliners as Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood and Bruce Lee running off a string of critically-acclaimed offerings. Recently I spoke with writer, director Christian Gudegast about the process of creating Den of Thieves, out on DVD, which harkens back to those old-school offerings while incorporating classic elements of filmmaking. 

Den of Thieves Official Trailer #1 (2018) 50 Cent, Gerard Butler Action Movie HD

Den of Thieves Trailer 1 (2018) 50 Cent, Gerard Butler Action Movie HD [Official Trailer]

The Shadow League: The intricacies of your modern day action film, not only was this well-written but it was shot well. But it still drives our adrenaline with the old school, the 70s, Charles Bronson type movies. How were you able to incorporate those old school elements with other time-tested methods of great filmmaking?

Christian Gudegast:  Those action movies from the 70s into the 80s was some of the greatest filmmaking ever. Den of Thieves is sort of giving a modern spin to that style, but it really comes down to specificity and not getting lost in the flow. Really sort of always focusing on the emotion involved in every moment. When playing with the actors and shooting it, it was always about that. Finding the emotional toll on each character and in each beat in which they’re involved. It’s like ‘what are you experiencing at that moment?” 

To play that and not getting caught up in the trickery of the shot. We try to keep things very simple and very raw and not let the filmmaking overwhelm the acting. We had that one drone shot which worked and was really cool. We did a lot of those but decided not to use them all because that’s when cinema becomes kind of distracting.  It takes away from the moment, from the performance, from the emotion. from the reality of it and becomes too much about the shot. We didn’t do that and always focused on what the characters were experiencing on a moment to moment basis.

TSL: The cast is quite an interesting blend of talent. At first glance, individuals who are not intimate with the type of people they are might just see testosterone when they see names like Gerard Butler, O’shea Jackson Jr and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, what are some of things that they, as basic humans, kind of surprised in seeing with these so-called “tough guy” individuals?

CG: They’re all very intelligent people. Curtis, for example, I have so much respect for him. Honestly, the dude is one of the hardest working people I’ve ever met in my life. The guy works his ass off. He lives clean, he’s an animal. There’s a reason why he has success. Because he works for it, period.  O’Shea, for example, is hyper-intelligent. He is a really, really smart dude. 

The same goes for Pablo and Gerry (Gerard Butler), they’re all very intelligent guys. We all rallied around the script that we all loved. The camaraderie on the set was through the roof. It was the best experience I think I’ve ever had. We spent a lot of time together in prep before we did the movie, kinda bonding together. They’re all just fantastic human beings.

DEN OF THIEVES Trailer 2 (2018)

Official Den of Thieves Movie Trailer 2 2018 | Subscribe | Gerard Butler Movie Trailer | Release: 19 Jan 2018 | More While planning a bank heist, a thief gets trapped between two sets of criminals. #DenOfThieves is the new action movie by Christian Gudegast, starring Gerard Butler, 50 Cent and Pablo Schreiber.

TSL:  When I was younger it would take movies forever to get to cable and VHS. Nowadays, films get to DVD so much faster after they’re released. What does it feel like sometimes when you have a movie that was basically a hit film and three months later it’s already on DVD?

CG: In the past, I would have balked at that. I’m used to movies being in the theater way longer. Now, it’s just is what it is. That’s the nature of the beast. You can’t fight it, and it’s fine. There’s so much content out there with streaming and we’re very blessed to have been able to connect with the audience in the manner that we did. If we can continue that on the DVD, that’s great.  I understand what you’re saying and I agree with you, but that’s just what it is now. There’s nothing you can do about it so you might as well just embrace it.

TSL:  There have been rumors of a sequel to this film since it was released. Where do we stand on that right now?

CG:  I am working on that, we are doing the sequel and I already have. I’ve done all the research, I have the whole story planned out and I’m going to be writing it once I do this next thing. We’re probably going to do it sometime late 2019.  Gerard Butler will be a star, along with O’shea Jackson. Otherwise, it’s going to be a whole new cast. It’s going to be set in Europe, Nick is going to be hunting Donny in Europe  Donny is going to be embroiled in the world of the Pink Panther mafia.”

Den of Thieves was released on DVD on April 25 and stars Gerard Butler, O’Shea Jackson, Jr, 50 Cent, Pablo Schreiber and Maurice Compte.  We’ll keep you posted on when you can expect Den of Thieves 2.

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